As much as we on the right appreciate the leadership the immediate past president showed in standing up to the threat of international terrorism — as well as the good will he showed to his ideological adversaries, we, well most of us at least, never much cared for his overall domestic policy. To be sure, we appreciated his efforts to reform Social Security, but wondered why he didn’t do more to contain the growth of the federal government and limit the scope of its regulatory power.
During the market melt-down of 2008, Democrats faulted the then-president’s deregulatory policies for causing the crisis. Only problem was that they failed to identify the specific deregulations, basing the argument not on actual facts of their administration, but culling them instead from their standard list of talking points.
As I wrote over two years ago in a post asking critics to the specific Bush-era regulations responsible for the financial meltdown (none did),
Even Obama-supporting columnist Sebastian Mallaby wrote, during last fall’s campaign, that the “claim that the financial crisis reflects Bush-McCain deregulation is not only nonsense. It is the sort of nonsense that could matter.”
If anything, W was a re-regulator, having signed the costly Sarbanes-Oxley Act increasing regulation of public companies in 2002. And today, David Hogberg reminds us yet again of George W. Bush’s very regulatory policies, excerpting a letter signed by, among others, former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, an Arkansas Democrat.
That missive, released by the National Federation of Independent Businesses “calls on President Obama to cut back on government regulation“:
Since 2005, there has been a 60 percent increase in the number of federal regulations defined as “economically significant” — each costing the economy $100 million or more. Today there are 4,257 regulations in the pipeline with 845 directly impacting small businesses.
Since 2005? Um, wasn’t that the first year of George W. Bush’s second term?
Maybe the roots of the financial crisis — and the continued sour economy — do lie in George W. Bush’s administration, but not for the reasons Democrats (and their allies in the media) claim. It was the heavy hand of the state which sparked this crisis. And its failure to adequately oversee government-sponsored enterprises.
(Though, to be sure, Republicans did try to increase oversight over those government-backed mortgage behemoths, only to have legislators like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd thwart their efforts at reform.)
RELATED: Glenn links a piece from Investor’s Business Daily which reports the Smoking-Gun Document Ties [Federal] Policy To Housing Crisis:
At President Clinton’s direction, no fewer than 10 federal agencies issued a chilling ultimatum to banks and mortgage lenders to ease credit for lower-income minorities or face investigations for lending discrimination and suffer the related adverse publicity. They also were threatened with denial of access to the all-important secondary mortgage market and stiff fines, along with other penalties. . . .
The unusual full-court press was predicated on a Boston Fed study showing mortgage lenders rejecting blacks and Hispanics in greater proportion than whites. The author of the 1992 study, hired by the Clinton White House, claimed it was racial “discrimination.” But it was simply good underwriting.
It took private analysts, as well as at least one FDIC economist, little time to determine the Boston Fed study was terminally flawed. In addition to finding embarrassing mistakes in the data, they concluded that more relevant measures of a borrower’s credit history — such as past delinquencies and whether the borrower met lenders credit standards — explained the gap in lending between whites and blacks, who on average had poorer credit and higher defaults.